Common mistakes in Statement of Purpose

Pragya Sharma ✅

Pragya Sharma ✅

Co-Founder @ Ace My Prep & Study Abroad Expert


SOP or Statement of Purpose is an essay-type document drafted to depict the candidate’s timeline and their interest and correlation in the applied field of study in a clear and concise way. In essence, the goal is to make the document error-free as much as we can. There are some particularly common mistakes happening in the SOP that have to be avoided at any cost. Some of them are to be avoided altogether and some have a little leeway. Below are the following mistakes to be mindful of, going from the easily noticeable to hard to notice respectively:

  • Grammatical errors are the most noticeable and can be hazardous to the student’s applications. Errors in grammar reflect a poor grip on the language and an unwillingness to re-check the document. 

  • A casual tone is an instant rejection in these scenarios. The wording should be formal and respectful. Writers should have a keen sense of judging whether a word is casual or formal. Any abbreviation, slang or term pertaining to texting culture should never be used anywhere.

  • There should be a clear sense of timeline in the document going from educational endeavors to professional ones and further on. The lack of a timeline confuses the overall purpose of the document and muddies the idea it is trying to convey.

  • We should be mindful of the words we are using. No word should be used repeatedly or multiple times. This causes the document to look less than agreeable and reflects a lack of vocabulary. To avoid this problem, use synonyms or try to reframe the sentence.

  • Plagiarism should be as minimized as possible to give the document a genuine feel. The only exception to this is when you are directly quoting someone else. 

  • The document should feel like it’s written by someone to exhibit their ideas. It should have a compromise between big words and big ideas.

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